KBRA honors Jennifer Evetushick as the latest ‘Na Hoku O’ Ka‘anapali’
KAANAPALI – Jennifer Evetushick, executive chef at the Westin Maui Resort & Spa, has been named a “No Hoku O’ Ka’anapali” by the Kaanapali Beach Resort Association, recognizing her as one of the “shining stars” who act as ambassadors of the resort area.
Launched in 2018, KBRA’s campaign highlights Kaanapali’s best and brightest individuals and shares their stories, thereby increasing the public’s understanding and interest of the area.
At the Westin, Chef Jenn oversees a vast culinary operation of more than 75 cooks and stewards within the 770-room beachfront resort. It’s a huge responsibility that requires a lot of multi-tasking, but for Evetushick, it all boils down to one goal: making her guests happy. That includes her “internal guests” – her associates. A fun and passionate worker, Chef Jenn does her best to instill joy into everything she does.
It all started at the age of eight, when little Jennifer made meatloaf in the shape of a teddy bear for her mom and saw the smile on her mom’s face. She took that joy along on her culinary journey, eventually graduating from the School of Culinary Arts at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, where she was recognized with the Outstanding Achievement Award in her class.
Early work at a fast food restaurant taught Chef Jenn not only humility but the ability to work in a small space under pressure while providing good customer service: “Training that money couldn’t buy,” she said.
With the Westin undergoing extensive and exciting upgrades, Chef Jenn’s work environment has become even more interesting.
The Westin’s famous breakfast buffet (which has been in existence for 35 years) has been moved and reinvented, with stations like eggs benedict, mochi pancakes and loco moco all gathered at a temporary dining venue called ‘Ai Alanui Marketplace.
This venue, along with all culinary operations, is housed within the indoor-outdoor setting of Aloha Pavilion until late spring 2020.
Chef Jenn reported that guests are loving the interactive stations and the variety. In addition, guests enjoy an entirely new concept for the lunch, pool and dinner experience: food kiosks and mobile food units – “like you’re walking into a Hawaiian version of Disneyland for food!”
Think juice kiosks shaped like watermelons, and pineapples that are seven feet in diameter – definitely not your stereotypical hotel food, she said.
Meanwhile, the resort’s main restaurants Relish Burger Bistro and Oceanside will undergo transformations into new restaurants and dining experiences as part of the resort’s upgrade.
For Chef Jenn, her day is always jam-packed with meetings, briefings, site inspections and assisting her fellow chefs and associates on daily operations. It might mean executing the breakfast buffet for 300 people or a site inspection with a specialty menu for eight people – all in a day’s work.
She joined the Westin in 2012 as chef de cuisine and was later promoted to executive sous chef before assuming her current role. Last year, she encouraged Sous Chef Mark Majewski to help organize Marriott International’s Master of the Craft Contest for Maui participants representing various hotel brands within the company. This was followed by the state level competition that was a great success.
An avid football fan, Chef Jenn often surprises guests and even the media with her incredible knowledge of the game and especially of her home team, the Philadelphia Eagles. In 2018, she joined her mother at Super Bowl LII, where her team emerged victorious.
She loves to keep up with all the latest culinary trends on social media and has been featured on several TV shows. In November, look for Chef Jenn on ABC San Francisco’s new digital concept series titled “Foodie Calls.”
“Chef Jenn is a true professional with such a fun and positive outlook,” said KBRA Executive Director Shelley Kekuna. “She is an inspirational leader to her team and represents Kaanapali with excellence and aloha. We are proud to name her as one of our shining stars!”
For more information about the Na? Hoku O’ Ka’anapali program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.